World Voice: #TryBeatingMeLightly #WorldMoms Speaking Against the Pakistan Bill

World Voice: #TryBeatingMeLightly #WorldMoms Speaking Against the Pakistan Bill

Violence against women in many countries occurs at an alarmingly high rate, but a new bill being proposed by a Pakistani Islamic council may just push the envelope further.

According to the proposed bill by Mohammad Khan Sheerani, the leader of this council, men will be allowed to “lightly beat” their wives with a small stick if they believe it to be necessary. Some of the criteria this council has listed as being necessary for disciplinary purposes are: not wearing a hijab, talking with strangers or men, speaking too loud or giving money to others without the husband’s permission. In addition to these, the proposed bill would allow husbands to “lightly beat” their wives if they refused to have sex, not bathe after intercourse or their menstrual period, and especially if they took birth control without their husband’s permission.

I can understand being reprimanded if one’s wife was not wearing a hijab, but to be physically punished for religious reasons or worse, for a woman’s perceived negligence of hygiene or opting for birth control is unbelievably demeaning and wrong. 

How is it okay for women to participate in politics, but be in danger of punishment for not obeying their husband’s desires?

If this bill were to pass, it would give way to other laws that are just as absurd and endanger women further.

As a woman and wife whose marriage stems from a partnership of equals, it is unbelievable to me that this law is even being proposed in this day and age. I understand that as someone who has grown up in the western culture, there are numerous laws in other countries that may not make sense to me, but if a law is used to subjugate women for the underlying purpose of harming them physically, emotionally and mentally, then it should not be passed.

I, myself, was born in the Philippines where patriarchy is dominant in a family setting. While I grew up in a family dynamic where the Father was the prominent figure in my nuclear and extended families, I was raised to believe that being married doesn’t diminish my rights as a person or self-worth..

Why must women continue to endure suffering at the mercy of patriarchal ideologies that are archaic and demeaning?

How is this proposed law deemed acceptable by a religious council when it calls for punishing women for saying “no” to their husbands, making it difficult for them to stay safe in their marriage?

Maybe I’m too much of a Western woman who believes that marriages are composed of men and women who value each other’s opinions and thrive from it, as opposed to beating one’s wife for not obeying what they believe as Islamic laws. As I sit here in disbelief and anger, I do hope that the women of Pakistan muster the courage to fight and make sure this proposed law doesn’t get passed.

To read the original article, click HERE:

What do you think of this bill? Please share your views about it in the comments section.

Tes Silverman

Tes Silverman was born in Manila, Philippines and has been a New Yorker for over 30 years. Moving from the Philippines to New York opened the doors to the possibility of a life of writing and travel. Before starting a family, she traveled to Iceland, Portugal, Belgium, and France, all the while writing about the people she met through her adventures. After starting a family, she became a freelance writer for publications such as Newsday’s Parents & Children and various local newspapers. Fifteen years ago, she created her blog, The Pinay Perspective. is designed to provide women of all ages and nationalities the space to discuss the similarities and differences on how we view life and the world around us. As a result of her blog, she has written for and has been invited to attend and blog about the Social Good Summit and Mom+Social Good. In addition, she is a World Voice Editor for World Moms Network and was Managing Editor for a local grass roots activism group, ATLI(Action Together Long Island). Currently residing in Virginia Beach, VA with her husband, fourteen year-old Morkie and a three year old Lab Mix, she continues to write stories of women and children who make an impact in their communities and provide them a place to vocalize their passions.

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SPECIAL REPORT:  World Moms Speak Out on #PeshawarAttack

SPECIAL REPORT: World Moms Speak Out on #PeshawarAttack


As World Moms, the school massacre in Peshawar, Pakistan is not just “their” issue, it’s our issue too.

We are shaken to the core. December is supposed to be a month filled with hope, joy, peace and love. It is a month of holidays, coming together and sharing our gifts. Yet in 2012 we were faced with the horror of 36 killed at Sandy Hook Elementary, a tragedy we hoped would not repeat in our lifetimes. In April, the kidnapping of 276 school girls in Chibok, Nigeria. And just yesterday, 145, mostly school children, killed in the #PeshawarAttack.

In this special report, we bring you the voices of moms from around the world as they weigh in on this very personal issue:

World Moms Blog Founder, Jennifer Burden (USA): What are we going to do about this? What is it going to take? Where are the girls from Chibok? Where are the children who died in Peshawar? How can anybody join an ideology that is violent to children? The good in the world far outweighs the bad in the world. I keep telling myself that. And I believe that. How do we unbrainwash those who are using religion for bad? Why is religion in the wrong hands so dangerous? Yet, in the right hands can be so positive? I have a lot of unanswered questions after reading the sad news from Peshawar.

Senior Editor, Purnima Ramakrisnan (INDIA): I was channel surfing on the TV yesterday afternoon and was dumb-struck by the news of the attack on the army school in Peshawar. The latest reportssay that almost 150 people were killed, the majority being children. One news channel says that a teacher was burnt aliveand the students were made to watch it. A few of them were beheaded and the rest watched the horror. Forget worrying about your child watching PG or Adult Rated Content on the TV. Some child across the world is watching it live, unable to grasp the tangible reality of hatred and violence.

Managing Editor, Kyla P’an (USA):  I am heartsick over this tragedy. As a journalist, I typically share current events with my kids (8 & 5) and have real-world conversations with them about what’s happening globally. I simply cannot let them know about one more school tragedy. School should be a safe place. A place to be around their peers, adults who care and nurture them and a thriving environment to learn. This tragedy is beyond my maternal processing capabilities. A little piece of every mom is chipped away every time an atrocity happens to anyone’s child.

World Voice Editor, Elizabeth Atalay (USA): The attack in Peshawar yesterday was a horrific act of barbaric cowardice. As a mother it sickens me to the core, and I know that today mothers around the world are in mourning for those innocent lives lost. My heart cries for the families of the lives taken yesterday in this senseless act of violence against children. Innocent children at school. I just can’t even fully express the despair the thought of it brings.

Contributor, Maureen H. (INDONESIA): It is so difficult to process such a horrible news. I cried and as a mom I cannot imagine the kind of grief and pain these parents have to go through. How do they move forward? How do they find peace? Is that even possible? It is every parent’s worst nightmare to lose a child but to have them taken away with such cruelty? I am in tears writing this.

Copy Editor, Elizabeth M. (USA): Devastating. Memories of Sandy Hook. I went to the Facebook page of my friend who had lived and worked in Pakistan for many years and saw pictures of families gathering in the parks in protest… candles… calls for solidarity. But I also feel incredibly helpless. So much intake of such bad news lately. I have a very concrete need to DO something or else I will have to tune out completely. And I suppose it’s the mundane work of peace building in my home and community, but it feels incredibly insignificant.

Contributor, Martine de Luna (PHILIPPINES): This is all very difficult to hear. I just found out a couple of hours ago, and being pregnant right now, I am rather emotional about it. Angry, mostly; hurting and crying for the mothers and fathers of the children. There is absolutely NO justification, no cause that warrants the murder of innocent children!!! It enrages me to think such evil exists in this world. We are used to hearing about war and strife, but every time innocent children are brutalized like this, it’s like I am paralyzed by grief and anger, the kind of anger only a mother would understand, the kind that stems from something unjustly stolen from you and there was nothing you could do about it.

Contributor, Karyn Vanderzwet (NEW ZEALAND): I don’t watch much “news”….. haven’t for a long time. Yet, still I heard.

I’m over hearing that children have been killed in cold blood.
I’m over feeling like my heart’s been ripped out… that, there but the Grace of God go I.
I’m over having my mother love stomped on, as if it means nothing.

Every death is painful.
Every child lost breaks my heart.

How can those mothers stand it?
How did mothers, at any time, stand it?
How ?
How ?

Contributor, Sophia J. (USA): Having just given birth the doctor asks me if I have any feelings of depression, presumably because of the birth. Well I am not depressed, but I am so saddened by what is going on in the world. I try not to be depressed by it. When you specifically start thinking about what injustices and torturous things children go through, then it becomes even harder to stay positive and happy; even if you do believe in God. Because even with a belief in a creator, you wonder why is it the children have to go through such experiences as kidnappings at school, beatings when still infants, torture by the nanny, raped by teachers and priests, and death by extremists who abhor freedom in education. Why? It’s a lot to take from a distance, I cannot begin to imagine what people in these areas are feeling! Let alone the parents….and the children….who are supposed to assume school is a safe place to be. I don’t exactly know what to say, but I feel this is a problem that comes from people’s take on religion, as well as behaviors that are accepted by the majority.

Contributor, Aisha Yesufu (NIGERIA): As an advocate and activist for #BringBackOurGirls in Chibok, Nigeria, Aisha says she is devastated by this news.

Contributor, Nadege Nicoll (USA): I am horrified for so many reasons. Firstly, by how anyone with half an ounce of human cell in them could bring themselves to commit such a senseless, heinous crime. Secondly, by the sheer injustice in this world. In the name of what can this ever be just? Finally, by the disappointment I am afraid will follow: because, as much as I want to believe that this is going to change something for the better, I don’t think it will. In the US, kids in an elementary school got shot at point blank, but following the outrage and shcok, NOTHING has changed. And that is a chilling fact. Finally, I am crying for the innocent kids who lost their lives. As a mother, nothing could be more horrifying. I am crying for the survivors who lived this attack and will have to try and make sense of something that does not. I am crying for the parents and families, the world is crying with them.

Contributor, Meredith S. (USA): This takes me back to Dec.14, 2012…. When the classroom of first graders were murdered here in the U.S. My son was in first grade at the time and it really hit home for me. Just when I think there couldn’t be anything worse than a classroom of murdered first graders, yesterday I find out an entire school of innocent defenseless children are murdered. My mind cannot comprehend the evil and I will never be able to imagine the loss, heart break, and anger the mothers, Fathers, and families of the victims must be feeling. My heart is broken. If people cannot respect the lives of children then I do not know what the future holds….

Kyla P'an (Portugal)

Kyla was born in suburban Philadelphia but spent most of her time growing up in New England. She took her first big, solo-trip at age 14, when she traveled to visit a friend on a small Greek island. Since then, travels have included: three months on the European rails, three years studying and working in Japan, and nine months taking the slow route back from Japan to the US when she was done. In addition to her work as Managing Editor of World Moms Network, Kyla is a freelance writer, copy editor, recovering triathlete and occasional blogger. Until recently, she and her husband resided outside of Boston, Massachusetts, where they were raising two spunky kids, two frisky cats, a snail, a fish and a snake. They now live outside of Lisbon, Portugal with two spunky teens and three frisky cats. You can read more about Kyla’s outlook on the world and parenting on her personal blogs, Growing Muses And Muses Where We Go

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CHICAGO, USA: BlogHer International Activist Panel 2013

CHICAGO, USA: BlogHer International Activist Panel 2013

Upstairs in a quiet little room, tucked away far from the madding crowd – were four of the most inspirational women I have ever had the pleasure of meeting.  They came from far and wide, each with a story to tell, of lives we can hardly imagine. Yet here they were – ready to share and let us peek in their windows and see their souls.

Not too many of the thousands of women attending BlogHer 2013 even knew that these women were here, how far they had come, how they had poured their hearts into the words that had earned them scholarships to be in the United States.

So very far from where they called home.
So very far from the lives we often take for granted.

Every year for around 5 years now, BlogHer has opened a competition across the globe to invite female activists to write in and tell BlogHer why they should come and tell their story. An all expenses paid trip from wherever they may be to share with us sometimes the unspeakable, sometimes the heart wrenching and always the uplifting on how just one person can make a difference.
This year there were four scholarship recipients:

  • Zeng Jinyan from Mainland China – both her and her husband, an AIDS activist, have been on house arrest, and she was listed as one of TIME Magazine’s Top 100 People Influencing the World in 2007.
  • Ayesha Sultana, an activist since she was 19, her family from Pakistan and now residing in Canada spoke of the time her father attacked her with a knife at the dinner table as her mother did nothing.
  • Jennifer Tosch, an American living in Amsterdam and the founder of black heritage tours, after she followed her mother’s mysterious past to Europe.
  • Purnima Ramakrishnan from India is the writer of The Alchemist; Senior Editor of World Moms Blog; activist for vaccines, maternal health and the girls of India; and also my friend …

I was so very taken with their words, that it did not occur to me between wiping my tears to take even one photo. I have only this one of my dear friend and also the founder of World Moms Blog, Jennifer Burden and the lovely Purnima Ramakrishnan, side by side … but I could not love this shot more!



This is Purnima’s very first trip to the United States, flying alone and such a teeny soul she was taken for an unaccompanied minor. I hope that you visit Purnima’s corner of the blogosphere The Alchemists Blog – she has so much to share with the incredible work she does for The Gates Foundation, GAVI Alliance, and The Huffington Post to mention a few!

There were many tears shed during this session.

These are voices that cry out to be heard.

Their stories are of hardships, struggles, and loss.

But their eyes shine as they tell of what they hope for the future and about realizing their dreams.

Since 2009, these ladies who have received the BlogHer International Activist Scholarships have walked the halls of BlogHer with incredible stories to tell, of the lives they have led, of countries far away where politics reign supreme, democracy may never reach and injustices prevail daily. They make a difference in a world, leaving footprints of change where most of us have barely left an imprint. They need us to share, to speak, to join forces and say that no matter where in the world our fellow sisters are, we are indeed all sisters – a mantra so very dear to my heart, here, at World Moms Blog and in the community I am building at Sisters from Another Mister.

As a single Mom raising two girls in Boca Raton FL, my hardships are few. Sure my emotions are drained daily, but I never doubt that I can conquer my fears and rise to where I need to be. These women have shown extraordinary courage, they break barriers for women everywhere and their stories are to be brought to the light. As a Mom, I strive to be an example to my children. Writing for Shot@Life, working with the UN Foundation and a member of the Global Team of 200 because my heart feels the need, and so that my children can see that there is more than what they see in this plastic world we live in.

In the words of BlogHer;

Ayesha Sultana, a Pakistan Native residing in Canada, writes at Dance of Red to shed light on gender violence and sexual violence, and its wider impact on society.

Jennifer Tosch comes to us from The Netherlands, where she works to explore and share the ‘hidden histories’ of the African Diaspora throughout the world, many of the stories focus on Africa and the former colonies of the Netherlands, through her site and Facebook page, Black Heritage Tours.

Purnima Ramakrishnan lives and works in India, creating support and raising awareness for mothers and children through her personal blog and as one of the Senior Editors of World Moms Blog.

Zeng Jinyan was honored in both 2007 and 2009, but was unable to attend due to being under house arrest in China because of her blog and her husband’s work as an environmental and AIDS activist. (Her journey has been well-documented here on Named one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2007, Zeng Jinyan was allowed to move to Hong Kong and can travel. We couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to host her. Finally.

I hope that you look them up, that you follow their work, that you can know their names … and be proud of the mark that women are making on the world!

These women, they are more. They are change … and thank you to BlogHer for letting their lights shine every so brightly. They bear witness to my children, this next generation, and I pray they will raise the torch and carry it forward. So BlogHer ladies, if I may be so bold, next year, bring these ladies into the ballroom, let the spotlights lift their causes, let the thousands of women who descend on this conference feed their souls, take in the spirit of the scholarship winners and carry their energy home.

When we see what they have achieved alone, imagine what we could do together?

This – this is Life Well Said.

Thank you.

This is an original post to World Moms Blog by contributor, Nicole Morgan of Sisters from Another Mister in Florida, USA. 

Photo credit to Beth Rosen. 

Sisters From Another Mister

Sisters From Another Mister ... A blog born from the love of 'sisters' around the world who come together to lift eachother up no matter where they are on their life journey. Meet Nicole, a transplanted British born, South African raised, and American made Mom of two girls living on the sunny shores of South Florida, USA. A writer of stories, an avid picture taker and a keeper of shiny memories. Sharing the travels of a home school journey that takes place around the globe - because 'the world truly is our classroom'. Throw in infertility, adoption, separation, impending divorce (it has its own Doom and Gloom category on the blog) and a much needed added side of European humor is what keeps it all together on the days when it could quite clearly simply fall apart! This segues nicely into Finding a Mister for a Sister for continued amusement. When not obsessing over the perils of dating as an old person, saving the world thro organisations such as being an ambassador for shot@life, supporting GirlUP, The UN Foundation, and being a member of the Global Team of 200 for social good keeps life in the balance. Be sure to visit, because 'even tho we may not have been sisters at the start, we are sisters from the heart.' Global Team of 200 #socialgoodmoms Champion for Shot@Life and The United Nations Foundation

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